Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

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Source: apartment34.com

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

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Source: apartment34.com

Why maximalism is the perfect decor trend for people living in small spaces – Insider

Why maximalism is the perfect home decor trend for small spaces

Megan Zeitz/Sarah Unsworth
  • Maximalism has become more popular over the last year, particularly in small spaces.
  • It brings personality and depth to a home, according to experts.
  • The key to making maximalism work in your small space is to be intentional about your design.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Before the pandemic, there was a period of time where nothing was everything when it came to decor.

Whether it was Kim Kardashian West’s all-beige home or your friend’s new affinity for throwing away things that didn’t spark joy, minimalism was definitely “in” throughout 2019.

But over the last year, people have grown less interested in the less-is-more lifestyle, especially those who live in tiny homes or apartments.

According to Pinterest data, people are searching for “maximalist decor” five times more and “maximalist decor small spaces” three times more often on Pinterest now than they were a year ago.

Likewise, a quick scroll through Instagram or TikTok will show you a plethora of small spaces filled with color that are much more in line with maximalist decor.

Experts told Insider that the rise of maximalism is likely a result of people spending more time at home — and it’s a change they’re excited about.

Maximalism is a ‘more is more’ design style

As the name suggests, maximalism is a design aesthetic that leans into “more” to make a house feel like home. You can expect to see brightly colored walls covered in artwork, an abundance of plants, and statement furniture in a maximalist space.

It’s the polar opposite of minimalism, which was popular in 2019 thanks in part to shows like “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”

And while there’s certainly something to be said for decluttering, Michelle Fahmy, an interior designer and one of Apartment Therapy’s Changemakers for 2021, told Insider she thinks maximalism is often more practical for people in their day-to-day lives than minimalism.

megan zietz 2.JPG

Maximalism encourages personality in home spaces.
Megan Zietz

“Minimalism is quite beautiful when done right, but there is also a starkness to it, an unlived-in and museum-like quality which makes it much less practical when you are living your everyday life, making your home your place of refuge, trying to raise a family, or setting up an impromptu home office,” Fahmy said.

“There is something about maximalism that allows people to be free and experiment, to have fun with the items and design choices in their space,” she added. “Maximalism gives people the freedom to express themselves through their surroundings.”

Megan Zietz, who decorated her space with maximalism in mind, echoed Fahmy. 

“For me, maximalism encourages utilizing our small space in the boldest way possible,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to play with colors, prints, and textures you wouldn’t necessarily think to use together.”

Maximalism has become more popular in the last year

Experts think it’s no coincidence that maximalism started trending during the pandemic.

“While stuck at home, people want to decorate their homes in a way that makes them feel good and reminds them of special moments, hence the rise in maximalism,” Swasti Sarna, Pinterest’s senior insights manager, told Insider. 

Danielle Blundell, Apartment Therapy’s home director, agreed, telling Insider maximalism has a “cozy factor” that makes sense for people spending more time at home.

“It’s the idea of layering and filling a space with the things that you love in a way that can make you happy,” she said. “When your home is full of all the things that you like, it can actually boost your mood and make you happier and provide lots of different stimuli to let your eye wander around the space.”

sarah unsworth 2

Maximalism can make homes feel bigger.
Sarah Unsworth

Fahmy also said maximalist decor can actually make a home feel larger when done right, which makes it a great design style for small spaces.

“Your eye only has so much ground to cover in a smaller space, so packing it in with thoughtful elements helps to actually make the space feel larger,” she said.

Experts told Insider that people who live in small spaces often pair maximalism with mid-century modern decor, as the latter can be a grounding style.

“The mid-century serves as a strong grounding presence in a small space because of its streamlined aesthetic,” Karina Lameraner, a creative stylist for the online interior design service Modsy, told Insider. “Maximalism beautifully contrasts this by inviting playful and adventurous elements into the space.”

The key to making maximalism work in your small space is intentional design

Maximalism is effective in a small space when the things in a room don’t look haphazard or thrown together, so it’s important to focus on the overall effect of a room when picking out pieces for it. 

“The trick to achieving maximalism in your small space is ensuring that colors, textures, and patterns all work together — and not against one another,” Lameraner told Insider. “Small spaces require layering as opposed to spreading, which means that the pieces you choose need to play off one another.”

She suggests picking items that have similar patterns or shapes to create a sense of cohesion. For instance, your couch and your bookshelf might both have rounded edges, or you can pick pillows that match the pattern on your rug.

Blundell said it’s important to keep in mind that even maximalist spaces need to have some negative space, which can help ensure the room doesn’t feel too busy. 

You can create negative space by leaving some parts of the walls blank, by having open space on shelves, or by making sure flooring is visible under a rug, according to Blundell.

Blundell also suggests buying simple furniture to ground a room, leaving the maximalist touches to more decorative pieces.

megan zietz 1.JPG

The key to maximalism in a small space is intentional design.
Megan Zietz

Fahmy encouraged people who want to embrace maximalism to decorate slowly rather than all at once. You can add one statement piece to the room, and then see what you might need from there.

“As you add more, take a moment to stand back and look at the space,” she said. “There is an element of just the right amount of restraint that is needed when being a maximalist.”

Likewise, Fahmy thinks it’s important to remember that maximalism gives people the opportunity to put things that are important to them on display.

“Bring out those tchotchkes from your travels that have been tucked away and group them as a fun display on your mantle or shelf,” Fahmy gave as an example.

Maximalism can help you turn your home into one giant keepsake, quite literally turning a house into a home.

insider.com

5 Items To Cut From Your Budget When Getting Out of Debt

There are items to cut from your budget when getting out of debt.  Find out which ones they are and why you need to trim the budget now.

things to do to get out of debt

things to do to get out of debt

I remember the days when we were doing all we could to try to get out of from under our debt.  We really worked hard to throw as much money as we could at it – as quickly as possible.  Part of the process for us was to take a look at our budget.  I good, long look at it.

In doing this, we found we could make some changes.  We found categories and spending that we were able to reduce or even cut out entirely from our budget.  Was it fun?  No.  Not at all.  But, something interesting happened when we did this.

We did not miss it

It is funny, but when you start to spend less on something, you realize that you don’t miss it.  It’s been more than five years since we paid off our debts.  And, even all these years later, we’ve not gone back to spending on these items like we did before we began our journey.   We do spend money, but not like we did before.  We just don’t need to.

You are probably wondering what in the world we did!  Read on to find the five items that we cut (or reduced) from our budget when we were getting out of debt.

If you are struggling  with paying off your debt, these folks may be able to help:
Call 866-948-5666.

CATEGORIES YOU DON’T NEED WHEN GETTING OUT OF DEBT

DINING OUT 

Dining out is convenient and something many of us do on a regular basis.  But, is getting out of debt more important than a few meals?  Chance are, it is.

If you spend $50 a week eating meals out, that is another $200 a month you have for your debt.  Over the course of a year, you can pay another $2,400 towards your debt!  Seeing those balances going down will give you more long-term satisfaction than a steak dinner.

Never eating out may be too hard for you.  If that is the case, limit your dining out to special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.  You might also want to go out to eat as you pay off each debt you owe.

Read More:  How to Save Money When Dining Out

FOOD

You can’t eliminate food from your budget.  After all, you must eat.  However, you need to be smarter when it comes to shopping for food and cutting back where you can.  Simple things such as cutting out the pre-packaged snacks or even meals and create them yourself can make a significant impact on your budget.

In addition to watching what you buy, you need to plan your meals.  After all, you aren’t dining out as much anymore. Smart planning starts by using the food you have on hand and then buying items on sale.  And, before you head to the store, make sure you have your shopping list (and your printed coupons).

Read More:  How to Create a Menu Plan That Works

CABLE

If you look at your budget, an item you may pay a lot for each month is cable.  The average consumer spends more than $100 a month for service.  You can eliminate cable and use an antenna to watch television.  Even if you add in a couple of streaming services (such as Netflix, for example), you will pay much less than $100 a month.

If cutting cable is not an option, take a look at your bill to make sure you watch all the channels for which you pay.  Eliminate premium services or tiers until you are out of debt and then you can add them back in.

Read More: 
Five Tips to Help You Cut Your Cable BillAlternatives to Cable TV – Never Miss Your Favorite Shows or Sports

TARGET or WALMART VISITS

It happens.  You run to Target to get one or two items and walk out with a cart full of treasures.  Then, if you make more than one trip to Target or Walmart a week, you might find you are doing this time and time again.  By reducing the number of trips to the store, you may see you spend less.

Plan a weekly trip to the store and don’t walk in without a shopping list.  As you walk the aisles, add only the items you have on your list to the cart.  Don’t allow yourself to get lured in by big signs on the end-caps or the clearance section.

Another trick to spending less is to only shop when you do not have much time.  So, rather than shop when you have hours to spare, stop in when you have just 20 or 30 minutes to get what you need.  When you have less time to shop, you will be more focused on getting only the items you need.

You really can’t eliminate this from your budget, but you can easily find a way to make sure you stay on track with your spending.

Read More:  Why You Keep Overspending


ENTERTAINMENT

Going to the movies can be a lot of fun. It can also be enjoyable to get out to the concert or comedy show.  However, these are such a massive hit to your budget.  It is nothing for a simple trip to the movies to cost $30 or more (by the time you get a ticket and snacks).

Instead, you can stay home and grab a RedBox or Netflix movie (for much less).  You can even check out all of the movies found on Amazon on Demand (some of which are even free with your paid Amazon Prime membership). Pop your own corn and you are set!  If you ask my kids, they would much rather to movie night at home than go to the theater.  They get to wear jammies and sprawl out on the floor.  Best of all, we can pause the show for the often needed bathroom breaks!

Review your budget to see what you can reduce or eliminate.  When your goal is getting out of debt, things you thought were important, often no longer are.   Remember that you are making short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.  One day, you’ll be out of debt and can add these items back into your budget.  But, you just may learn you don’t miss them.

tips to help you get out of debt fast

tips to help you get out of debt fast

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King

It is often hard to stay inspired during this difficult time. Things can look bleak – whether you’re reading the news or braving the world outside of your home. San Francisco has lost its charm during the pandemic. Streets are deserted. Businesses are boarded up and graffitied. All the cultural vitality that draws one to a city like this is canceled. If if we wanted to go somewhere….there’s no nowhere to go.

And so we turn inward. Back towards home. If you’ve been looking to scratch a creative itch, this post is for you.

Stay Home Inspo: Colin King on Apt34

As this pandemic has continued, I’ve been sharing #StayHomeInspo on Instagram – a respite for the eyes and inspiration for design ideas and creative projects we can do in our own homes to boost our spirits. One of my primary resources of inspiration has been stylist and photographer Colin King. I discovered Colin’s work on Instagram and have been following his creative journey every since – as he styles editorials ranging from corporate clients like Zara Home, to homes that grace the cover of Architectural Digest. As part of his own #StayHomeInspo journey, Colin started his own hashtag – #StayHomeStillLife chronicling his Covid creative outlet – creating stunning still life vignettes in his Manhattan apartment during New York City’s lockdown. I looked forward to a new image from Colin every day and even though he’s back to work outside his home, I still do.

Colin was gracious enough to share some of his creative tips and tricks with Apt34 today. I hope you find his insights as inspiring as I do.

Q: How did you get started, especially doing still life work? Did you have a mentor? Study something? Or just start experimenting?

A: I’m really good at doing, and not so good at being. Out of all of the careers I’ve had, none of them afforded me the flexibility to work from home. So in an attempt to cope and self soothe, I quickly found comfort in creating still lifes at home. My apartment is small, and there are only so many combinations when it comes to rearranging furniture, so I was forced to think small. It started organically shopping at my favorite decor shop (and the only one that was open) – nature. Foraging quickly led me to taking unrelated, inanimate objects, fruit, and anything else I could find around the house; placing all of that on a clean surface and trying to find an arrangement that felt poetic. The act of creating these still lifes gave me a schedule and presented a challenging, healthy way for me to step away from my screen, disconnect from fear and worry, and just be.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: What would you say are the key components of a captivating still life?

A: For me there are three key components of a captivating still life.

Each still life I create, my goal is to conjure the feeling of being a tourist in someone else’s reality. I never want any of my photos to feel as though you’re on a set or that the elements were contrived specifically for the photo. For example, when I am at a museum or even in someone’s home for an editorial shoot, I am always noting the forgotten corners, the stanchions, the coat rack, the half-drawn closet curtain; these are the places where there was no thought or extra care given to the placement of things – it’s just where everything naturally fell. Every captivating image I’ve seen has this almost eerie element of a human having just been there moving about unapologetically, and what’s left is unstyled but perfectly settled. Ultimately, creating a moment that seems more unearthed than contrived.

When approaching my still life I let go of the practical, intended use of each object. To me, a vase isn’t a vase and a fork isn’t a fork – they’re just things with their own materiality and form. I love it when I see an image and don’t even realize what the objects are until examining closer. Whether it’s upside down, balancing on its side, or completely submerged in a glass of water, there is an irreverence with a nod to surrealism that I love.

Lastly, light. Finding the depth between and beyond the surface the objects are on and how they relate to each other is key. Not only do I want to feel the dimensionality of the image, I also want to use objects that absorb light, reflect light, and bend light arranging them in a poetic display to generate an unexpected conversation.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Are there any tricks of the trade you regularly rely on (tools, adhesives etc)?

A: No tricks. Just patience and a good playlist. I’ve never used a tool or an adhesive, I recognize I have so much to learn but right now I am having fun shattering glasses, chipping ceramics, cursing under my breath, and the freedom that comes with not being bound by any way of doing it. And music has always been a part of my process. As a trained dancer, music brings me a sense of comfort, routine and ritual while keeping me in the present moment.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Your photography is also amazing. The way you use light is incredible. Are you self taught? Do you only use your phone and if so what do you use to edit your photos?

A: Aw, thank you. I am completely self-taught and I only use my iPhone. I just looked and I have 143,885 images on my phone. For each still life I create, or any image really, I take anywhere from 20-40 images per set up. It’s practice. it’s repetition, it’s trial and error. It’s like going to the gym and working out. Taking photos is a muscle I’ve been working on since I first got a camera phone in college. I use VSCO and Snapseed to manipulate shadows, contrast, and perspective. We’re all learning from each other. I look to photographers and other creatives I admire and dissect their images, find what I like about them, and then tinker with my own.

I had to let go of the concept that there was the perfect preset or formula for any of my work. No one was going to share a map or rulebook with me, and through a lot of trial and error, I learned that I can’t think my way into being a good photographer or stylist – it’s in the action. I have to use my hands to pick up something tactile – a book to sift through or a couple of objects to arrange. From there I just play, sometimes it’s there and sometimes, I walk away. I get myself into trouble when I wait for inspiration to hit, I have to get up and find it.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q:You have a very distinct look. I can recognize your work a mile away. How did you go about cultivating that?

A: Intuition has always been my leader in life. I didn’t know I was cultivating a look – I just kept taking photos of what I liked and using the limited resources I had. Although the aesthetic strands running through my work are pretty consistent, the influences feeding into the design process are typically eclectic and even the most unlikely of subjects can provide food for thought. Simplicity and finding beauty in the mundane interested me. At first, my minimal sensibility came from not having a large portfolio or a lot of pieces to work with. And ultimately, I’ve always admired the edited life – less color, less clutter, and fewer things sustained by purposeful restraint.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: Where do you turn for creative inspiration?

A: I draw my inspiration from other people. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who have something that I want; and challenge me to be more honest, take more risks, and ultimately how to not fear failure. I am energized and encouraged by other people’s victories; the immense joy I get from watching peers succeed gives me hope that I too, can achieve anything I put my mind to.

I am also very inspired by nature – I am in constant awe of what it produces. Nature has a way of humbling me and is a great reminder to abandon the idea of perfect – nothing about nature is linear or symmetrical and nothing is immune to decay.

Stay Home Inspo: Creativity at Home with Colin King on Apt34

Q: What about your work brings you joy?

A: I get to tell stories for a living and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I get to connect with people and help create a context for the intimate rituals of peoples’ lives. And I also get to surrender to the subjectivity of what I do and knowing that the narrative I’ve created will be interpreted differently by each viewer – it challenges me to be vulnerable in a way – it’s all part of being a creative – and I feel grateful to be able to make a living by being creative.

Also, objects that have been given to me or are inherited from a shoot or trip, bring me joy. The handmade pieces in my place, knowing the story and process of the artist brings me joy as well. Ultimately, the smallest object can embody an entire relationship or single experience; they’re tied integrally to memories and can shape the identity of the room.

Q: Your career has been taking off of late. Where do you hope to be in five years?

A: This time has presented irrefutable evidence that I don’t have the power to know where I will be in 5 years. Doing the best at this moment puts me in the best place for the next moment. The saying Time takes time has always been a hard pill for me to swallow, I spent so much of my life wanting to be the fastest, youngest, and the best at everything I did but these unrealistic expectations only brought me pain. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Surrendering to the idea that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, going through exactly what I need to be going through, AND being content with that is where I hope to be in 5 years. I am learning that the most important relationship I have is with myself. When that relationship is strong I am a better son, brother, friend, employee and partner.

Colin you are wise beyond your years and talented beyond belief. Thanks to you I’m going to continue to try to improve my foraging skills! f you find Colin as truly inspirational as I do, I hope you’ll give him a follow on Instagram.

What are you doing to stay inspired during this weird time??

For more Stay Home Inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of Colin King

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Source: apartment34.com